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A Guide to Help with Throat Issues

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Sore throats are one of the most common conditions that are usually nothing to worry about. Within a week, you will be feeling better.


Most of the times it is usually caused by minor illnesses like flu or colds and can be easily treated at home.


The page, which we created with the help of ENT Specialists of Austin will cover:


Remedies and treatments

What causes a sore throat?

When should you get medical advice?

Treatment of a sore throat


Here are some effective things you can do to soothe the sore throat:


Drink a lot of water or warm fluids and stay away from hot drinks

Take paracetamol or ibuprofen – paracetamol is the better options for children and people who cannot take ibuprofen (it is important to always remember that no child under 16 should take aspirin)

Eat soft and cool foods

Make a homemade mouthwash with salt and warm water then gargle

Avoid smoking and places that are smoky

Suck lozenges, ice cubes, hard sweets, or ice lollies – you should not give young kids small things to suck because they can choke.

There are some products like medicated lozenges and sprays that you can get from a pharmacy. There has been no scientific support for the claim that they help, but there are some people who have been able to find relieve by using them.

Antibiotics are usually not prescribed for a sore throat, even if the cause is a bacterial infection, because they are most likely not going to make you feel better, and they also have side effects.


Causes of a sore throat

The cause of a sore throat can sometimes be hard to know. But many times it is usually because of a bacterial or viral infection.


Common Causes

A sore throat is commonly a symptom of:

Flu or colds – you might also be having a runny or blocked nose, high temperature (fever), a cough, general aches and headaches.

Laryngitis (inflammation of the voice box) -” The voice starts to be hoarse, constant need of clearing the throat and a dry cough

Tonsillitis (the inflammation of the tonsils) – you might have red or spotty tonsils, fever, and discomfort when you swallow.

Strep throat (this is a bacterial throat infection) -” there may be a swollen gland in the neck, tonsillitis, and discomfort when you swallow.

Glandular fever – you might be feeling very tired, swollen glands in the neck, and a fever.

A sore throat can also be caused something causing an irritation in the throat like allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (this is where the acids leak up from the stomach), and smoke.


Less common causes

There are some less common causes of a sore throat are;

Quinsy (this is where there is painful collection of pus at the back of the throat) this pain can be severe and also making it hard to swallow or even opening your mouth

Epiglottitis (this is where there has been inflammation of the flap tissue which is located at the back of the throat) – this pain can be very severe and you might find it hard to swallow and breath.

The above conditions are a little more serious and you should make an effort of going to the doctor within the shortest time possible.

When should you get medical advice?

When you have a sore throat, you don't have to get medical advice.

It can sometimes be a good idea to contact your GP or call NHS by Phone on 24 111 if your GP is not open if:

The symptoms become severe

The systems are persistent and it hasn't changed after one week

You get frequent severe sore throats

Your immune system is weak – a good example is people with HIV, going taking chemo or using medication that suppresses the immune system.

When do you need to get emergency help?

This is very rare, a sore throat can be a sign of a little serious problem


Go to the nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department, or get an ambulance by calling 999 if;


The symptoms are quickly getting worse and are severe

You have a hard time breathing

There is a high-pitched sound being produced when breathing

You have a hard time swallowing

You start drooling